Saturday, January 1, 2011

Finding Books at the AIC

I recently started a new gig as volunteer library advisor for the American Islamic College. When my former student worker, Romana, called up and asked if I could talk with them about their library, I thought I'd go over, check it out, give them some ideas, and call it a day. But I really like their mission, I liked the folks who are working hard to get this going, and so now I am deep in dirty work of sorting books to make a decent library for them. It's all unclear to me how they happen to have thousands and thousands of old books, but 99% of them are not appropriate for their collection, so it is weeding and boxing time. Yesterday I had a couple of volunteers, my friend, Beth and a AIC volunteer. That was so helpful! This exercise is forcing me to think about how important it is to have a collection development policy and stick to it! Since I need to revise the CTU collection development policy, this is useful. It also has provided the reminder of how valued books are. When I explained that most of these books would have to go, you could see the mouths gape open. What would happen to these books? Never mind that the books have no use for a library with a very specific purpose! Haven't contacted them yet, but I am hoping that Theological Book Network will come for them. It is really interesting to open random boxes of books! One box had textbook after textbook of geometry, physics, or sociology and one fabulous book of Persian art! A real gem. Another box, the same, and two volumes on Turkish ethnography! I've turned up probably two boxes of children's books, most in terrible shape, but found a couple that I brought home to read; a Ruth Sawyer that was wonderful (A Cottage for Betsy) and Phyllis McGinley's Plain Princess which I read years ago and loved. And a complete anomaly--a huge stack of R. F. Delderfield paperbacks! Let's just say that how books wind up being in particular places is something that never ceases to amaze!

1 comment:

  1. Melody: Just read this, and I can relate. I have an ongoing problem of going through thousands of books, old and new donations. You really have to go through, one by one, so you don't miss the gems! Good for you.
    Elyse Hayes